Saturday, August 1, 2009

DisCo Is Here and Filled With Memories.

BEFORE my mother died she told my sister and me that she had "gotten rid" of all the love letters our father wrote her while he was in the Army during World War II.
We were heartbroken and as I remember it she couldn't understand why.
She didn't know, however (or at least I don't think so), that there were many rainy October Saturdays when my sister and I would sneak downstairs, go into her bedroom, and search the back of her lingerie drawer for those very letters. They were wonderful!
Well, I don't know how my own children will feel about the love letters between their father and me before we were married. We were officially together 26 years - a good chunk of time - but it's been over for (officially, again) 18 years now.
When I was looking for something to add to my DisCo Project - I knew I wanted to bind up the book sections to make another book - I was frantic. Nothing was right. I slowed down and took a careful look around the room and came up with this: old love letters. Pieces of my past. Sections of heartache. Promises unfulfilled. Longing, desire, plans for the future.
What better to add to weathered bits of paper than weathered bits of promise and hope?
Holes were punched and I bound them in such a way that the letters can't be taken out and read. Peeks may be obtained of some of the pages - a word here and there - but unless the book is taken apart they cannot be read in their entirety.
This, I think, is like the past. A word overheard now and again, a glimpse of a person's face as you passed their doorway, but the entire picture can't be put together with these few bits. And even if the letters are read someday, I don't think anyone can fully appreciate this once happy couple's dreams and plans. Still harder to find in these clippings are the reasons the marriage failed.
It certainly didn't fail because of these letters. Like most plans, it failed because of miscommunication, pride, ego and the inability to put yourself in another's shoes.
I think I will probably add more to this book. Maybe love letters from another gentleman after the 26-year marriage ended. Maybe not. Maybe those are for burning - femminismo
(edited Aug. 2 for grammar)

31 comments:

Marie said...

Wow! I love this! After my mom died I searched & searched for any "romance" in photos & letters she left behind. I think I will leave a bit of a trail! Thanks for sharing!

Julie Prichard said...

I love seeing all of the disco projects that made it into books...beautiful!

nollyposh said...

~Beautiful~

My Grandmother did the same... Maybe they just prefer the memories softened by time and in the light of the love from their hearts?

xox

rachel whetzel said...

What a great little bit of memory... I love your new bundle... and that it may not be finished... so cool!!

Lawendula said...

I love this, because just now I really became obsessed with paper sheets and pages, what a beaury in decay.

rscoach said...

Brilliant! thanks for sharing your story and your process with us - hope there is healing in all of this for you - check out mine @ CreativeRebelGal.blogspot.com - sending hugs - Reva (los angeles)

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Wow, this is very powerful and meaningful. I really admire what you've done here!

DymphieM said...

love all the thoughts you put into your piece, wonderful work.

ArtPropelled said...

I think if I found a book of bound love letters (maybe in an attic) it would worry me silly that I couldn't get into them and read them all....and the fact that the book looks so old and weathered would be very exciting indeed.

Mar said...

perfect!

Ontheroad said...

Brilliant idea and a wonderful thoughtful piece of disintegration.

Zoe @ Pentamento

PS - Also heartfelt thanks for really looking!

nancy neva gagliano said...

fabulous story, and concept ... love that they cannot be read, clever, symbolic, it's ended, and that burning my lie in the future!! course,you'd film that!! and dance and throw the ashes in a river, right? thank you for sharing such deepness with us.

Don Madden said...

Very beautiful piece. I like that they can't be easily read, just parts of them.

david mcmahon said...

As a kid, I realised that letters hold the key to many strands of life, history and family puzzles.

My third novel revolves around letter found 60 years after it was written ....

diane said...

What a great way to package the past! Where will you keep it now?
xoxox

Brian Miller said...

wow. powerful post. little glimpses never give the entire picture...faint traces of a love shared...but gone now. oh what they contain...congrats on the POTD mention.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Wow, what a piece of the past and the future! Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

Wayne Pitchko said...

great story..lovely

Jill Zaheer said...

What a creative and unique project and special way to deal with your past and impact on your future. Reflection, thought and your process are so hearfelt. Thanks for sharing this personal story and thank you for visiting and commenting on my disco project! Seth has created such fertile ground for all the express themselves within!

alteredbits said...

i love this!! what creative and wonderful pieces you decided to add. i cannot think of a better way to "recycle" old letters. the pieces of love shared, pain, and everything in between -- it's quite touching.

Renee Howell said...

You have done a wonderful job of capturing the whole "disintegration" concept. Capturing the things that have changed, gone away, disappeared, not meant to be shared. Wonderful idea to bind your letters - that as you said - held promise and promises that didn't hold. I commend you for your thoughtful approach to disintegration and to your kids. Cool MOM - nice Art

Brian Miller said...

hey there. thanks for the return visit. POTD - post of the day...on David's authorblog. He commented a few above my first.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Hi, I'm back to answer your question. Here is a link to the Post of the Day - http://david-mcmahon.blogspot.com/2009/08/post-of-day.html

enJOY your day!

Julie Fillo said...

What a beautiful idea, Jeanne! Congrats on the expected new relative, I could swear I posted to you about it already, but I guess I just posted in my head!
I posted to your post on my blog:

Jeanne, To tell the truth, I was not that thrilled with this painting, but at 10pm on sunday, I realized I had nothing done to post, even though I had been painting all weekend! So I had the grizz in reserve.
Also dealing with infected root canal.
ugh!

~*~Magpie's Nest said...

a bundle that keeps on going...fascinating, wonderfully mysterious too!

Maj said...

A letter captures a moment in the past, and your book may - if you decide so - capture moments of the present. Perfect!

herminesplace said...

its absolutely gorgeous

Lisa Sarsfield said...

I would love to turn those pages and discover all the wonderful treasures that live inside it!

donna said...

I love it that you did this!

Candace said...

Brava! That last paragraph is the continuing testament of the heart's ability to keep itself in tune with its greatest gift and treasure, that being love.

The photos are fantastic and I find myself searching for the occasional word or so... again, a glimpse of the heart.
Take care.
Candace in Athens x

Kim said...

Now I'm just catching up with things after all the blogging projects of late and have just caught this post. How interesting. I love what you have done with this intensly personal project. I assume (oh I know I'm in trouble already for assuming) that your children will be as fascinated by this as you were about your own parents. Perhaps this is because it offers us a glimpse into a side of them that we don't usually see. It humanises (is this a word???)them in some way that we don't normally connect with as their children I think. Either way this is a wonderful project especially the hidden factor incorporated here.Love it xox